On August 28th, teens in the Alaska Youth for Environmental Action (AYEA) program joined other youth from across the state to deliver a rule-making petition to the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation. The petition outlined a viable climate action plan that included an annual inventory of Alaska’s greenhouse gas emissions, a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions statewide and a focus on science based climate action plans moving forward.
On October 29th ADN published a great article on the work and dedication these teens showed towards clear climate goals>>

On September 27th the DEC rejected the rule-making petition.

For over a decade, AYEA teens have been pushing for climate change solutions. In 2006, they collected 5,000 petitions from their peers in over 150 villages and cities, asking local, state, and federal leaders for climate action. In 2014, they delivered 3,500 more petitions asking Governor Bill Walker to simply re-establish the climate change task force created during the Palin administration. For three years in a row they’ve met with Governor Walker and Lieutenant Governor Byron Mallott about climate change.

It is now 2017, and we still have not seen real action from our government on this critical issue that is impacting our cultures, fisheries, community infrastructure, and economy.

While youth have stepped forward to demand action, this should not be their sole burden to bear.

Alaska is our home, and it’s time we start talking about a different legacy for our state. We envision a future in which tidal, wind, and other renewable energy powers our communities; in which Alaska leads the Arctic in technological innovation; in which the natural resources that support sustainable industries like fishing and tourism are protected and prioritized; and in which people can thrive in their communities and practice their way of life without fear of relocation from extreme weather. To get there, we have to make some tough decisions, and we also have to be aspirational.

Our entire team is standing with our youth. In the coming months, The Alaska Center will be stepping up our efforts to address climate change, by advancing concrete policies, programs, and action that get us closer to our vision. We will work with elected leaders at the local and state level to implement solutions, and we will hold accountable the leaders who aren’t ready to move forward.

We hope you will join us in creating the future we want for our state.